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March 21, 2016

OSHA finds Lancaster foundry exposed workers to excessively high levels
of lead, cadmium and associated health risks

J. Walter Miller Co., cited for 12 violations, fined $41K

Employers name: J. Walter Miller Co., 411 East Chestnut St., Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Citations issued: On March 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for 11 serious and one other than serious violations.

Investigation findings: On Sept. 9, 2015, OSHA began an investigation in response to a complaint alleging numerous health and safety hazards, including worker exposure to lead at the foundry. OSHA inspectors found the employer exposed employees to lead at seven times the permissible limit, and to elevated levels of airborne cadmium. The employer was cited for violations of both the lead and cadmium standards for General Industry, including deficiencies in written programs, exposure monitoring, engineering controls, respiratory protection, labeling of contaminated clothing, decontamination before entering lunchrooms, medical surveillance, and training. The agency also found employees were exposed to high levels of noise without adequate controls to protect employees.

Proposed penalties: $42,700

Quote: "J. Walter Miller is exposing its employees to hazards that can lead to serious life-altering health conditions. Lead and cadmium have toxic health effects that are widely known. Unsafe levels of lead are toxic to the nervous system, reproductive system, kidneys and other organs. Long-term cadmium exposure can result in kidney damage, or increase the risk of lung or prostate cancer." said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office. "Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees. OSHA will not tolerate anything less than that."

View the citations:*

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Harrisburg Area Office at 717-382-3902.

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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102,

Release Number: 16-593-PHI (OSHA 16-031 J. Walter Miller)

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